Most runners detest hills and avoid them at all costs. I love them and believe that when used correctly, hills can be the secret weapon to becoming a stronger, faster, more confident runner.
When running cross-country at Middlebury College, every Tuesday afternoon my coach would have the team run hills repeats up the backside of the Green Mountains. The “hill” workout was always one of the hardest but also the most beneficial. While perhaps, running up and down a mountain several times a week is not on your list of future workouts, here are my top five reasons why running short hill repeats near your house should be. Hill running….
Strengthens Essential Running Muscles:
In general, hill running does a better job of building up the muscles in your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes than running on flat ground AND has the added benefit of strengthening your hip flexors and Achilles tendons. Additionally, running uphill forces you to drive your arms harder than usual, so you'll improve your upper body strength and form.
Improves Endurance and Speed: